The Musical Prowess of David Grant


David Grant, Pace senior and football player, is better known as Drok in the musical business where he has released hundreds of songs utilizing a mix of R&B, rap and funk. Photo Courtesy of David Grant.

Kwadar Ray, Managing Editor

David Grant and his parents had just finished their Mother’s Day dinner at a restaurant when Grant–then a sophomore in high school–was approached by a middle-aged man who recognized him from a live musical performance he had done at a park in South Orange, N.J. a week earlier.

The man eagerly asked for a picture with Grant, a senior, as his parents stood there baffled at their son being recognized in public for his musical talent.

“That was the first time my parents saw someone compliment me on my music and that was when they realized I was very good,” said Grant, also known by his stage name, “Drok.” “Just the fact that someone listens to me is a big complement for me because you don’t have to listen to me, but the fact you even compliment me and reach out to me is a lot.”

Grant’s passion for music traces back to his childhood and listening to the hip-hop and funk music his parents would play in their home. He recorded his first song in junior high school alongside fellow Pace football player Marvin Jean-Baptiste.

Although Grant has been performing music live since he was in a Church camp singing along to Christian rap songs in the sixth grade, his first live performance of his own music came as a high school sophomore at the Baird Community Center in South Orange in front of 150 concert goers.

“I was definitely nervous going in with my group when I first joined them, and it was nerve wracking,” Grant said. “But when I got up there, everything changed. You think you are going to be nervous until you get up there and realize you need to do something and it felt so great after. I felt like I really tackled something.”

Grant and his group’s music received a positive reaction during his first performance, and much of that is due to the unique sounds of Grant’s music.

Grant is a versatile music artist whose songs never sound similar with its blend of rap, R&B and funk. A fan can listen to one of his songs such as “Superman” and find it hard to believe the same person recorded “The Bizzness,” another song in Grant’s discography.

“I don’t want my music to sound the same because if it sounds the same why would you listen to the next one if it sounds like the last one,” he said. “I want to create a story and give people something different every time just to create diversity and have a plethora of different music you can listen to. When you sound the same or make songs similar to everyone else, you create a ceiling for yourself and I don’t want a ceiling.”

Grant aims for listeners to feel multiple emotions when listening to his music because his musical influence, A Tribe Called Quest, constantly made him feel emotions of joy and happiness.

“There’s something about A Tribe Called Quest’s music that made me happy and I took some of that energy and put it in my own stuff,” said Grant, whose music has garnered numerous views on Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal. “I feel like all my music is genuine. Most of what I say is based on a true story and most of my music is about love and things of that nature. I see with a lot of music it is about drugs or violence, but I don’t do that.”

Grant believes his most recent song, “History,” fulfills his goal of instigating an impassioned reaction. A majority of Grant’s music takes a couple weeks to produce and get released, but “History’s” message and sound led him to wait three months until he found it perfect to release.

“[History] is definitely one of my favorite tracks,” he said. “I wanted people to get the message and understand the story, and just have a feeling and inspire them to do great things and re-find that person they have history with and stuff like that.”

Grant says his time at Pace has had a positive impact on his musical aspirations. His experience in the Lubin School of Business’ advertising program gives him a leg up over other artists when promoting music.

He also appreciates his time on the football team and experiencing the challenge of being a musician and athlete.

“I take a lot of pride in being a musician and athlete,” he said. “I think when you are passionate about something, you find a way to get it done. I am passionate about music and was passionate about football, so I feel very privileged that I was able to do both.”

Pace will also provide Grant with a platform when he opens the Pleasantville Campus’s Spring Concert on April 6, in the Goldstein Fitness Center.

And while this will not be Grant’s first time opening for a concert, it will be his first time performing at the event as a solo artist.

“I’m nervous, but I’m confident in my skills,” he said. “I’ve performed for a long time. So, I may be a bit nervous, but I know I’m going to do my thing.”